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Communist Party of Estonia

EKP redirects here. It can also refer to Jewish Communist Party (Poalei Zion).
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Communist Party of Estonia (Estonian: Eestimaa Kommunistlik Partei, EKP; Russian: Коммунистическая партия Эстонии) was a political party in Estonia.

EKP was formed November 5, 1920, as the Central Committee of the Estonian Sections of the


  • History 1
    • Merger with the CPSU 1.1
    • Split of 1990 1.2
    • First Secretaries of the Communist Party of Estonia 1.3
    • Second Secretaries of the Communist Party of Estonia 1.4
    • Chairman of the Estonian Communist Party 1.5
    • Prominent Estonian communists 1.6
    • See also 1.7
  • References 2


Like in the rest of the Russian empire, the RSDLP branches in the Governorate of Estonia had been ravaged by division between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. In 1912 the Bolsheviks started a publication, Kiir, in Narva. In June 1914 the party took a decision to create a special Central Committee of RSDLP(b) of Estonia, named the Northern-Baltic Committee of the RSDLP(b)" (Estonian: VSDT(b)P Põhja-Balti Komitee).

After the February Revolution, as in the rest of the empire, Bolsheviks started to gain popularity with their demands to end the war immediately, as well as their support for fast land reform and originally even ethnic claims (to introduce Estonian as an official language parallel to Russian). During the summer of 1917 Bolsheviks and their supporters took the control over the Tallinn Soviet.

By the end of 1917 Estonian Bolsheviks were stronger than ever - holding control over political power and having significant support - remarkably more than in Russia. In the elections into the Russian Constituent Assembly their list got 40,2% of the votes in Estonia and 4 out of 8 seats allocated to Estonia. The support for the party did however start to decline, and the Estonian Constituent Assembly election of January 1918 was never completed. Moreover the party faced the situation in which it had difficulty building alliances. Their opponents, the Democratic Bloc, was able to initiate cooperation with the Labour Party, Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. Those parties supported different ideas but were united around the demand for an independent or Finland-linked Estonia and wished to distribute land to the peasants. In the first question the Estonian Bolsheviks, although having introduced Estonian as an official language after their takeover, promoted the idea of Estonia as a part of Soviet Russia. In the land reform policy, Estonian Bolsheviks continued to support immediate collectivisation.

Bolshevik rule in Estonia was ended by the German invasion in the end of February 1918. The party branch continued to function in exile in Russia.

After the German revolution in November, when an Estonian government took office, the party together with support of Soviet troops attempted an armed attack against the new state. However, by this time the support for the party had waned, and it failed to mobilize mass support for revolutionary warfare. An Estonian: Venemaa Kommunistliku (bolshevike) Partei Eesti Sektsioonide Keskkomitee). After the war a reorientation was found to be necessary (since Estonia was now an independent state) by the central leadership of the RCP(b) and thus on the November 5, 1920 the Communist Party of Estonia (EKP) was founded as a separate party.

Merger with the CPSU

In 1940 EKP was merged into the Estonian SSR became known as Communist Party of Estonia (bolsheviks) (EK(b)P).

The EK(b)P was purged in 1950 of many of its original native leaders they were replaced by a number of prominent Estonians who had grown up in Russia,[1] see "Yestonians".

When the AUCP(b) changed its name in 1952 to CPSU, the EK(b)P removed the (b) from its name.

Split of 1990

EKP was divided in 1990, as the pro-sovereignty majority faction of EKP separated itself from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and became the Estonian Democratic Labour Party. The minority faction of pro-Soviet hardliners reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party of Estonia (CPSU platform).

First Secretaries of the Communist Party of Estonia

Second Secretaries of the Communist Party of Estonia

Chairman of the Estonian Communist Party

  • Vaino Väljas ("Leading" role of the party abolished 1990) April, 1990–August, 1991

Prominent Estonian communists

See also


  1. ^ "The Baltic States, years of dependence, 1940-1990", by Romuald J. Misiunas, Rein Taagepera, 1993, ISBN 0520082281, p. 149
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